Aviation Industry Recognizes FAA Administrator Steve Dickson for His Service; Will Step Down on March 31st

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, who will resign from his position, effective March 31st, is being recognized for his years of service by many in the aviation industry.

Steve Dickson

Dickson, appointed by President Trump in August 2019 for a five-year term, was a pilot and senior vice president at Delta Air Lines before joining the government. NASAO, AUVSI, NATA, NBAA, NATCA, AOPA, GAMA and other associations all released statements thanking the Administrator for his service.

NASAO President and CEO Greg Pecoraro expressed the association’s thanks to Steve Dickson saying, “Steve Dickson has provided steady leadership at the FAA during a tumultuous time for the industry. As Administrator, he brought years of experience in the industry as well as great personal integrity to his role, which was invaluable during some real challenges for aviation. Administrator Dickson has been a good partner for the states and made a real effort to reach out to bring the aviation community together during the pandemic.”

Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), President and CEO Brian Wynne said, “As a member of the FAA’s Management Advisory Council (MAC), I had the opportunity firsthand to watch the serious nature of Administrator Dickson’s attention to detail and focus on safety. The drone and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industries represented by AUVSI benefitted from Administrator Dickson’s leadership in advancing steps toward the safe integration of drones in the national airspace and movement towards enabling AAM operations in the future with new, advanced technologies like Vertical Takeoff and Lift (VTOL).” Wynne noted that Dickson led the finalization and implementation of the Remote ID and Operations Over People rules and launched the Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC).

NATA President and CEO Timothy Obitts, said Administrator Dickson’s commitment to continuous safety improvement, dedication to industry collaboration, and ability to instill confidence among consumers and the community will serve the agency well for years to come. “Administrator Dickson advanced the cause of safety, was a friend to the industry, and understood the value of business aviation. He will be missed.”

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen noted that the country has been extremely fortunate to have Dickson as FAA administrator during one of the most challenging periods in the history of the agency. “We thank Steve for his leadership, integrity, experience and expertise, which made a profound difference when our country needed it the most. His leadership on critical issues including safety, innovation, workforce and sustainability will leave an enduring legacy,” said Bolen. Dickson was instrumental in the development of SFAR 118 and other initiatives to support the nation’s aviation industry during a critical period in the COVID-19 pandemic. His tenure at the FAA began in the wake of two fatal accidents involving the newly certified Boeing 737 MAX. As part of the agency’s approval for the airplane to return to service, Dickson personally flew the MAX to demonstrate its safety. “His tenure has been defined by a drive to continually enhance the FAA’s safety culture,” concluded Bolen.

National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Rich Santa issued a statement thanking Administrator Dickson for his strong leadership and for strengthening the successful collaborative relationship between NATCA and the FAA. “We are proud of our work with Administrator Dickson during a two-year period of unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. NATCA and the FAA swiftly worked to make decisions and create new procedures to protect the aviation safety professionals we represent, so they could ensure the continuation of the safe and efficient operation of the National Airspace System.”

AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker said, “We are proud at AOPA to have worked with Administrator Dickson on several important initiatives, which have kept the skies safe for our 300,000 members. I have personally worked closely with Steve for several years on key aviation issues both in his leadership role at the FAA and serving together on the NextGen Advisory Committee. Steve has been fully committed to the FAA’s mission and his service to our nation in both the United States Air Force and as Administrator of the FAA are appreciated. We wish him well.”

General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO, Pete Bunce, issued a statement thanking Administrator Dickson for his distinguished public service at the FAA. “He has been a strong and effective leader, navigating the agency through numerous challenges with skill, courage and wisdom,” said Bunce. “His work and commitment to improve the safety, health and strength of the U.S. and global aviation system has advanced the agency’s resiliency and credibility and built a stronger future framework for safety, innovation, sustainability and growth.”  

Dickson shared with FAA employees that over the past several years, his family had been a source of tremendous encouragement, strength and support but after sometimes long and unavoidable periods of separation from his loved ones during the pandemic, he concluded that it was time to devote his full time and attention to them, and as he wrote in his letter to President Biden, “it is time to go home.”